2016 SDSU Writers’ Conference: Five Questions with Editor Martin Biro of Kensington Publishing

Martin Biro

Martin Biro

If you’re a writer with a dream, get one step closer to being a writer with an agent. Learn how to hone your craft, your pitch, and your query, at the conference with a long history of launching careers.

The SDSU Writers’ Conference was among the first to pioneer 1:1 appointments with agents and editors, giving you unprecedented access to top-tier publishing professionals — many of whom interact with unpublished authors only through conferences.

The 32nd annual conference is Jan. 22-24, 2016 at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley. Register now for three days that could change your writing life.

Meet editor Martin Biro of Kensington Publishing at the 2016 conference:

1. What’s the best advice you can give to writers who are currently polishing their pitches and query letters in preparation for the upcoming SDSU Writers’ Conference?
A little online research goes a long way in terms of improving your chances and saving yourself some time in terms of making sure you’re pitching to agents and authors who are interested in what you write. Also — and this is easier said than done, I know — try not to be intimidated and have fun while pitching. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions.

2. Can you share one of the best/worst opening lines from query letters you’ve received?
I can’t quote any exactly, but anything too gimmicky is an immediate red flag. A straightforward, professionally composed query is always best. The best way to capture my attention is through an intriguing and marketable story, succinctly summarized in a few opening lines.

3. What’s the first book that spoke to you as a young reader?
Excluding many wonderful picture books, Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game made a huge impression on me.  It’s an incredible “puzzle-mystery” with some amazingly complex characterizations and humor, and has held up over the course of many years and many, many re-readings.

4. If you had to choose only one, what’s your favorite book?
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

5. What do you hope to find at the 32nd Annual SDSU Writers’ Conference?
Exciting, unique projects and enthusiastic writers to pitch them!